Best Kayak Accessories in 2020 [Our Reviews & Comparisons]

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One of the things that makes kayaking so enjoyable is the simplicity. None of the complicated techniques of sailing; none of the coordination of a canoe; none of the hard work needed for a rowboat. In a kayak, one person and minimal experience or planning can still have a great day on the water.

Even so, there are still some things that everyone will want with them before they head out. Having the right accessories isn’t just for fashion. When boating, these things can keep you from all kinds of accidents and discomforts, ensuring your leisure time is as enjoyable as you always hope it will be.

Kayaking accessories will need to meet a few basic criteria, so make sure to check for them before you place an order. Anything you intend to bring with you should be waterproofed in case it goes over the side.

Accessories should also be small and light enough to fit in your kayak’s storage compartments and be either unpowered or solar-chargeable. Make sure to protect your investments by selecting items that can be attached to your boat or a small buoy in case they accidentally go overboard.

There are plenty of gadgets to go around in kayaking. We’ve selected the five that you’ll need the most on the water.

Our Best Product Reviews and Comparisons

IMAGE PRODUCT
EDITOR’S CHOICE 1. Stohlquist Edge PFD

  • Essential safety gear
  • Nighttime reflection
  • Easy to adjust
  • Fitted for comfortable paddling
  • Pockets keep accessories near to hand
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RUNNER UP 2. NRS Touring Safety Kit

  • Bail out
  • Remove grit
  • Signal the rest of your group
  • Keep your paddle close
  • Compact for use in any kayak
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3. SealLine Canyon Backpack

  • Durable outer shell
  • Large capacity
  • Watertight
  • Ventilated straps dry quickly
  • Waist belt
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4.Triple Eight Sweatsaver Halo Helmet

  • Washable and adjustable pads
  • Chin strap can be easily pulled to size
  • Option to mount such things as a camera or light
  • Scalp ventilation
  • Essential safety gear
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5. Carlisle Magic Plus Paddle

  • Shaped for maximum propulsion
  • Light enough for long treks
  • Fully customizable art surface
  • Available in multiple lengths for different users, applications, and depths
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1.Stohlquist Edge PFD

Product Highlights

A PFD or life vest is a must for anyone going boating. They have saved more than a few lives over the years and should be among your first considerations when preparing to head out.

Features

  • Reflective accents for nighttime excursions
  • Straps are highly adjustable – one size fits all
  • Approved by multiple safety boards
  • Contoured for all genders and easy paddling

What We Like About Stohlquist Edge PFD

Life jackets are mandatory safety gear in many jurisdictions for good reason – a PFD can realistically save your life if you get unseated from your kayak.

What We Don’t Like About Stohlquist Edge PFD

Many users find PFDs uncomfortable to wear, especially on longer trips.

PROS

  • Essential safety gear
  • Nighttime reflection
  • Easy to adjust
  • Fitted for comfortable paddling
  • Pockets keep accessories near to hand

CONS

  • Tough lining can be abrasive
  • Uncomfortable to wear over long trips

2.NRS Touring Safety Kit

Product Highlights

This compact and lightweight kit keeps you prepared for the most common mishaps while out on the water.

Features

  • Paddle float
  • Whistle
  • Grit sponge
  • Bilge pump

What We Like About NRS Touring Safety Kit

These simple additions to your kayak take up little room and can help you recover from a roll or leak.

What We Don’t Like About NRS Touring Safety Kit

This kit is fairly basic and leaves out such things as a paddle leash or storage bag.

PROS

  • Bail out
  • Remove grit
  • Signal the rest of your group
  • Keep your paddle close
  • Compact for use in any kayak

CONS

  • Not all items are available in the basic kit
  • No storage bag

3.SealLine Canyon Backpack

Product Highlights

Nothing ruins a kayaking trip like your gear getting wet. Keep your belongings high and dry with this bag.

Features

  • Weighs 1lb 14 oz
  • PVC free
  • 300D body, 400D bottom
  • Watertight roll closure

What We Like About SealLine Canyon Backpack

The treated exterior and rolled closure keep things safe no matter how close they get to the waterline.

What We Don’t Like About SealLine Canyon Backpack

This bag offers little back support or organization, making it good for boating but little else.

PROS

  • Durable outer shell
  • Large capacity
  • Watertight
  • Ventilated straps dry quickly
  • Waist belt

CONS

  • No internal organization
  • Not ideal for trekking

4.Triple Eight Sweatsaver Halo Helmet

Product Highlights

Mind your head – every kayaker should have a helmet to protect them from low branches, their own capsizing boat, and anything in between.

Features

  • Washable lining
  • Dense outer shell
  • Adjustable chin strap
  • Large ventilation holes

What We Like About Triple Eight Sweatsaver Halo Helmet

Kayaking means performing tight maneuvers and entering close quarters more than just about any other boat, making a helmet necessary for basic safety purposes.

What We Don’t Like About Triple Eight Sweatsaver Halo Helmet

Helmets Can be hot and restrictive to wear, especially if the straps become dampened and loose.

PROS

  • Washable and adjustable pads
  • Chin strap can be easily pulled to size
  • Option to mount such things as a camera or light
  • Scalp ventilation
  • Essential safety gear

CONS

  • Straps can work loose easily
  • Can be uncomfortable and restrictive

5.Carlisle Magic Plus Paddle

Product Highlights

Many kayaks will come with a paddle, but it can be worth making the upgrade if you are planning to take on a serious trip or regular outings.

Features

  • 240cm long
  • Spoon blades
  • Wound fiberglass handle
  • One and a half pounds

What We Like About Carlisle Magic Plus Paddle

This paddle will replace your stock model no matter where you are taking your kayak.

What We Don’t Like About Carlisle Magic Plus Paddle

This represents a somewhat pricey addition to a kayak where many are happy to use the paddle that came with the boat.

PROS

  • Shaped for maximum propulsion
  • Light enough for long treks
  • Fully customizable art surface
  • Available in multiple lengths for different users, applications, and depths

CONS

  • Often seen as an unnecessary expense
  • Hard to pack or recover

Final Verdict

No kayaker should leave the shore without these things. Although a fun pastime and heartily enjoyed by many, there is no overlooking that kayaking bears the same dangers as any recreational boating. Kayakers need to be properly equipped for certain eventualities before setting out.

Once you have these crucial items, it may be worth improving your boating gear with some luxuries. A solar charger, waterproof speaker, or mounted camera can add a welcome measure of fun to your trip, and are likely available from your local boating shop.

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